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WD EX2100 (WDBWAZ0120JBK-NESN) My Cloud™ Expert Series 2-Bay Pre-configured 12 TB NAS with dual-core processor
  • eggxpert iconEggXpert
  • Owned For: 1 month to 1 year

2 out of 5 eggs Manufacturing defect/DOA, but good software design 07/22/2015

This review is from: WD EX2100 (WDBWAZ0120JBK-NESN) My Cloud™ Expert Series 2-Bay Pre-configured 12 TB NAS with dual-core processor

Pros: I really like the MyCloud, but I cannot in good conscience recommend it.

- Setup was so easy, my grandmother could teach your grandmother how to do it.

Why such a low score? See "Cons" below.

- The web interface is really slick and extremely well-designed.
The only better I have seen is on much more expensive Synology NAS units. As a senior software developer myself, I am not easily impressed, and I think whomever wrote and designed the web interface deserves a medal.

- The unit feels solidly build, is very quiet, and appears to use good quality components including WD's own Red line of hard drives, which I have purchased dozens of for various projects, and have yet to see a single failure.

- Drives do not need special screws or rails. Just slide it right in. However, rails may have prevented the manufacturing defect.

Cons: - DOA. The unit itself works, but one drive was non-functional, which turns this RAID NAS into a fancy portable hard drive with no data protection.

- One drive was non-functional because it was forced, badly, into the EX2100 chassis in such a way that the hard drive's entire connector block was bent down at nearly a 45° angle. The drive is off the rails, flush against the top of the chassis.

- I contacted Western Digital. They refused to assist in any way.
I can understand WD declining full warranty support on a review unit, but they refused to even help get the unit (with its obvious manufacturing defect) into a testable condition.
It seems a Pyrrhic victory for them to save replacement costs on a unit meant for formal public review on the world's number one computer hardware website.

I have created a photograph of the manufacturing defect (and one other observation) but cannot post it in a NewEgg review. I can provide the link upon request.

Other Thoughts: If WD ever does fix or replace the review unit, I will re-review accordingly.

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Seagate 500GB USB 2.0 / WiFi Wireless Mobile External Hard Drive STDC500402 Red
  • eggxpert iconEggXpert
  • Owned For: 1 month to 1 year

4 out of 5 eggs No way! A wireless drive that works! 05/25/2015

This review is from: Seagate 500GB USB 2.0 / WiFi Wireless Mobile External Hard Drive STDC500402 Red

Pros: I've used or reviewed numerous wireless storage products and most give you an unstable connection or flat-out don't work except as an expensive wired USB drive.
After my experience with Samsung's attempt (See N82E16822152423), I didn't expect much from this unit because they and Seagate are wireless drive partners (and Seagate bought Samsung's storage division), but it turns out that Seagate knows how to get it right.

+ It actually works! Every single time!

+ I was able to stream a high-definition episode of Big Bang theory to my old Samsung GS3 phone without the slightest problem.

+ I was even able to steam a video from the drive while simultaneously copying it to the phone! It was a little jumpy, though.

+ Seagate's software is very easy to use and hasn't been frustrating so far.

+ The Seagate app does not silently eat battery in the background when not in use. I know this shouldn't be a big deal, but so many Android apps (even some from Google) eat battery in the background and can but battery life in half. Seagate's app seems to have been written by developers that know what they are doing!

+ The software is smart enough to know that an MKV file is video. A lot of software refuses to play or even acknowledge MKV files. It even bins them in the right folder (Video).

Cons: I took notes on some minor gotchas that you should know about:

1. My biggest complaint is that you can't enable wireless while plugged into USB, even just a USB charger.
This is my biggest use case: Use the drive as wireless storage for a tablet while the drive is plugged in so that I don't have to worry about the battery running out. Why??

Fortunately you can work around this by powering on the drive, waiting for it to go wireless, and THEN connecting to USB. Please fix this, Seagate!


2. (See above) You cannot use both USB and wireless storage at the same time. When wireless, the drive isn't detected on USB. When you start as a USB drive, it won't enable wireless. See #1.

3. Establishing a wireless network isn't slow, but it isn't super fast. It takes about 20-30 seconds.

4. Data copied to the wireless drive from a mobile device is hidden from Windows/Mac. You can still get to it by showing hidden files and then looking in the hidden GoFlexData and .GoFlexData_thumbs folders, The directory contents seem well organized, at least.

5. The app seems to cache a list of files and not refresh that list, even when you totally disconnect and reconnect the wireless drive. For example, I disconnected the drive, plugged it into USB, copied a video to the drive, disconnected USB (see #2) and re-enabled wireless, but the Seagate app did not see the file until I tapped "refresh". Doing so is hardly a big deal, and it works perfectly every time, but isn't very intuitive.

Other Thoughts: Through wireless, I was able to copy data to my phone at 3-5 megabytes/sec (24-40 megaBITS/sec).
That's plenty for most streaming but could be faster for large file copies.
Please keep in mind that the drive may transfer faster to newer phones. Mine is about 2 years old.

When you copy files from the wireless from the wireless drive to your mobile device, those files appear under the "SeagateMedia" folder. (This isn't obvious at first)

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OCZ ARC 100 ARC100-25SAT3-120G 2.5
  • eggxpert iconEggXpert
  • Owned For: 1 month to 1 year

5 out of 5 eggs Tried to make it fail. I failed. 05/25/2015

This review is from: OCZ ARC 100 ARC100-25SAT3-120G 2.5" 120GB SATA III MLC Internal Solid State Drive (SSD)

Pros: I planned to killed my review unit before posting so I could discuss its durability.
The dang thing wouldn't die!

I've been writing and deleting music to it for months with a batch file.
Besides a few reboots and forgetting to restart the script a few times, it's been writing all day and night.
I didn't install OCZ's "SSD Guru" just in case it enables read-only mode on well-worn drives, so I don't have an exact endurance number. However, I estimate I've written 25,000 - 30,000 GB to the drive, well past its rated endurance.

Performance:
Choosing a modern SSD based on performance today is a little like choosing which jet fighter to use for your grocery store run. They are all vastly (50x+) faster than conventional hard drives (analogous to sedans), so I doubt it matters to most people.

The ARC 100 "feels" par with my main system drive: An Intel 730 480GB. In tests, the ARC100 is about 20% slower writing random data and 50% slower reading. This sounds like quite a bit, but SSDs are rarely the bottleneck in system performance. I noticed the difference only when copying large files to a very fast drive array.

The ARC 100 as be an affordable drive for people that want SSD performance but don't want to pay a premium.
Its performance is lower than more expensive drives, and its long-term durability is rated lower by OCZ, but for practical buyers that want a blazing fast application load time and boot time, the OCZ ARC 100 will fit the bill without a large bill.

Cons: OCZ released a firmware fix that indicates the early OCZ ARC 100 firmware had some problems. I never used the old firmware since I always update to the latest as soon as I get a new piece of hardware.
These notes sounds scary, but no scarier than the massive problems that Samsung and other manufacturers have had with their early firmwares:

The notes (Source: http://ocz.com/consumer/download ):
Fixed a corner case issue with DDR corruption on 480GB capacity drives
Improved robustness of uncorrectable error handling
Improved read retry on bad block list
Numerous stability and reliability improvements

Other Thoughts: Did you know that some models of OCZ SSD like the Octane and Petrol had more than a 40% failure rate? Compare that to Intel SSDs at less than half a percent. OCZ went super cheap and their reputation was harmed.

Lesson: Update your SSD firmware, no matter the brand!

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Charles B.'s Profile

Display Name: Charles B.

Date Joined: 01/02/03

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  • First Review: 11/09/06
  • Last Review: 07/22/15
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